Women’s Volleyball: UConn falls to Michigan State and Brown in Dog Pound Challenge 

UConn beats Sacred Heart University 3 sets to 0. UConn was down by 5 in the 3rd set and came back to win it all. Photo by Jordan Arnold/The Daily Campus

The UConn women’s volleyball team was in for another jam-packed weekend with a three-game series in the Dog Pound Challenge. Michigan State, Binghamton and Brown University would all make their way to Storrs to challenge the Huskies on their home turf.  

The first of the weekend matchups was Michigan State. In the first set, MSU separated themselves with a 3-point run off the bat. From there, Connecticut closed the gap to 7-5, but that lead would not last for long. The Spartans took off to a 12-5 margin while UConn was unable to score. MSU ultimately made it a game of scoring runs that Connecticut was unable to match.  

In the second set, the Huskies started strong and made a 3-point run from the jump.​​ The Spartans trailed behind for the first half of the set, but the tide eventually turned once the score tied at 12-12. From there, UConn trailed closely behind MSU to tie the game again at 18-18. Ultimately, Connecticut couldn’t hold on as MSU finished 25-20.  

The third set was the longest battle between the two. Each team took turns leading and despite UConn’s fierce offensive plays, MSU finished 25-23. Although UConn was unable to lock down a set win, the scoring margin remained small and the Huskies made several attacking plays.  

The second matchup put UConn back in the running as they were able to lock down a 3-2 win against Binghamton University in a five-set battle. The first set proved that the two were an even match as each team traded leads. Midway through the game, the Huskies were able to tie it up with an 11-11 score. Binghamton went on to score several runs in the second half to gain some separation from UConn and by the end of the set, the score remained at 26-26. Both teams had to battle it out but the Bearcats ultimately pulled away at the end to finish 28-26.  

The second set proved to be another fight to the finish as the teams bounced back and forth with scoring and Connecticut was able to secure a run at the end of the set to bring home a 25-23 win. By the third set, Binghamton was ready to retaliate and gained the biggest scoring gap of the series to secure a 25-15 set win as they headed into the fourth.  

The Huskies answered the Bearcats’ call and were ready to get even. The Huskies’ fourth-set win pushed the teams into a fifth and final battle. UConn demonstrated some outstanding attacking plays and finished 15-5.  

The last of the weekend competitors was Brown, a team currently undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the Ivy League conference. The first set started with domination from the Bears to challenge their counterpart. Brown was able to hold off a major scoring drive from the Huskies and maintained a 10-point lead for a good portion of the set, which led the Ivy team to hold off the Huskies as they finished the set 25-17. 

The second and third sets followed a similar pattern. Throughout the second, UConn trailed behind the Bears and had difficulty countering kills, ending 25-16. The final set of the day resulted in a loss. Even after meeting a challenging competitor for the final game of the weekend, UConn finished the set 25-18 and slightly closed the scoring margin.  

Despite this, UConn was still able to demonstrate several strong offensive plays and executed defensive progress. Throughout the weekend Emma Werkmeister, Mya Ayro, Taylor Pannell and Cera Powell continued to dominate the court.  

Looking ahead, the Huskies will be heading into the Big East series. The first of the matchups will feature St. John’s University next Friday. St. John’s is currently ranked No. 4 in the Big East while UConn is ranked No. 10.  

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